You're Engaged! Now What?

How to Begin Planning Your Wedding

He asked and you said "Yes!" It's time to start planning your wedding.

Congratulations! You've found someone incredible to spend the rest of your life with.

Now that you have something sparkly on your ring finger, it’s time to start thinking about planning your wedding. While the task can be daunting (What? Your college didn’t offer “Planning your Wedding 101”?), we’ve put together a list of the first steps you should take to make sure that your wedding planning adventure gets off on the right foot. 

Enjoy It!

Enjoy this time, because you’ll never have it again. Spend a few weeks just enjoying being engaged, knowing what that means and not stressing out about what’s coming down the pike. Go on romantic dates, dream about the day you’ll say “I Do” and flash your ring finger whenever you have a chance. You’ll only be fiancés for so long, so say it often and bask in the love that has brought you to such a momentous place in your relationship.

Make an Announcement

The first thing you’ll want to do is tell everyone you know. Send out a printed announcement to family and friends, submit an engagement announcement to your local newspaper or post the happy news online. Everyone will be so happy to hear the news straight from you, so choose whichever method best suits your style and budget.

Celebrate!

Before you start planning the wedding, plan an engagement party. Gather your friends at your favorite local bar, meet up with family for lunch at a fabulous restaurant or invite everyone to your apartment for hors d’oeuvres and plenty of Champagne. Be sure to have both families at the event if possible – you’re building a new life together, so why not start it off with a fantastic celebration?

Look to the Future

You don’t have to set a date just yet, but now is a great time to start thinking about the season you’d like to get married in, which will help determine how much time you have to plan. Knowing the season will start to guide your search for venues, conversations with vendors and your wedding dress hunt. And even if you don’t decide on the date for a few more months, your mom will be thrilled to tell her friends that you’ll be tying the knot in the spring of 2014!

Consult the (Check) Books

Start talking about the budget. Before you book vendors or buy a dress, you’ll need to know how much you’re planning on spending and how your budget will be broken down. Now’s the time to figure out if anyone will be contributing to your budget or if the two of you will be paying out of pocket. Though things will probably change as the months go by, having an idea of how the money will be used will keep you from using your entire budget for a photographer or venue deposit.

Brainstorm

Once you have the basics down, let your imagination run wild. Use MyCollection to collect anything that speaks to you, then share your ideas with your friends and family. Put together a group for your bridesmaids, another for your mom and your sister, and one for the groom. Privacy settings make sure that Mom doesn’t see the gift you’ve picked out for her and your groom doesn’t see the wedding dress you’ve fallen in love with. If you're the pen and paper type, buy a planning binder to keep yourself organized (may we suggest Colin Cowie's new Wedding Planner & Keepsake Organizer?).

-Jaimie Schoen

 
 
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